Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blog Tour(review): The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing by C.K.Kelly Martin

Book details:

The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing by C.K. Kelly Martin
Publication date: September 1st 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Losing weight over the summer gains Serena some popularity, but it also means discovering first-hand the pains of being a fifteen-year-old girl in a world that both sexualizes and shames young women. After narrowly avoiding exploitation in a shortlived relationship, Serena aligns with a new friend who was the victim of an explicit image that was shared at school. When Serena finds herself in a relationship with a new guy, she is surprised to find a different set of expectations. But have her previous experiences damaged her too much to make it work? As Serena struggles to find who she is as opposed to who she is expected to be, she begins sighting Devin – her older brother who disappeared months earlier.


My review:

NOTE: I received the eARC of this book as a part of the blog tour organized by Xpresso Book Tours. My review is honest.

To be honest, when I requested this book, I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting myself into. I thought that this would be just another YA novel with typical themes and characters. I was very surprised when things didn't turn out all that typical - surprised in a positive way that is.

Writing style:
The story was told in first person POV, with Serena being the POV character. There was need for some polishing of the manuscript, so a good editor is in order.

Story line:
Like I mentioned above, this isn't the usual contemporary teen romance, where everything is quite obvious right away. Things happen out of the blue in the most realistic of ways that I felt like I was invited to share the deepest feelings, expectations and hopes of the characters. Also, I liked the growth of each character and the development of each relationship - slow, steady, believable.

- sibling love is important, can be character-building and certainly can be a support
- parental expectations can be overwhelming
- drug addiction(and any other addiction, really) and how it changes people
- romantic relationships - the importance of being honest, of being careful, of being responsible

Serena, being the POV character, is the one I got to know the best. I liked what I saw in her. I liked how much she grew in the span of this novel. She used to be a girl in rage, a hurt girl who didn't want to trust anyone, who felt disregarded and an outsider in a family of special people. By the end, she learned that she was just as special, but in different aspects. I really liked her reaction toward Gage - from beginning to end, except when she lied to him and when she tried to jump him. That was just weird, but I still totally understood her. What came after that was very thought-provoking and I enjoyed reading about her.

Gage, a random guy with a complicated life seemed to be just what Serena needed. Of course, since I didn't see all that much of him, and wasn't privy to his thoughts, I only had Serena's view of events. Gage was responsible, thoughtful and knew exactly what he wanted out of life. He hadn't been that way though, and the results are obvious. But I really liked how he got to handle things in the end. Very mature, even if a bit late.

Morgan, Serena's famous brother, seemed to be way out there in the beginning, but the more I saw of him, the more I realized that Serena may have filtered Morgan's real personality through a weird prism that only showed certain traits and held in others. Morgan was very open, sociable and likeable. But more important - he loved his family and did whatever he could think of to keep it together.

Devin, Serena's other brother, who was a drug addict some months ago, caused a lot of trouble in the family. The mom seemed to totally loose it after Devin left school and house and disappeared from the map. I think that he was a bit too selfish, running away like that and making everyone terrified that something horrible might've happened to him. Of course, I'm aware that drug addicts (or any addicts really) don't think very clearly, so Devin didn't really act any differently than expected. What was selfish of him was that even when he got clean he never thought to call home and tell his family that he's okay.

The mom was totally out there, addicted to Swarovski figurines and completely loosing if anything happened to those super precious crystals. She was messed up bad, but I don't think that Devin's disappearance act caused it. It may have intensified it though.

The dad seemed to be completely out of control. He was there but did nothing to help his wife get better.

Nicole and Genevieve, the two friends Serena acquired after a run-in with with some stupid boys (among them her boyfriend) were sworn off boys because they'd suffered humiliation on more than one occasion. They liked to play tough, but inwardly they were just hurt and needed reassurance and love.

In conclusion:
The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing isn't a fast-pace read, but it leaves you thinking in the end.

My rating is 4.5 stars

C.K. KELLY MARTIN’s bestselling debut novel, I Know It’s Over, was published in 2008. It was followed by One Lonely Degree, The Lighter Side of Life and Death, My Beating Teenage Heart and the sci-fi thriller, Yesterday. A graduate of the Film Studies program at York University, Martin loves good books, movies, music, web design, and Ireland. She currently resides in Oakville, Ontario.

Author Links:

Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
  • A selection of YA fiction from Dancing Cat Books' fall releases (4 books including a print copy of The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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